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Relieved Lee handed backdated doping ban

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-04-27 16:47

Relieved Lee handed backdated doping ban

Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei looks on during a news conference in Bangkok November 21, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian shuttler Lee Chong Wei was a relieved man on Monday after being handed a backdated eight-month ban for doping by the Badminton World Federation, leaving him free to go for gold at the Rio Olympics next year.

Lee tested positive test for dexamethasone at last year's world championships. Dexamethasone is an anti-inflammatory that does not enhance performance but is on the list of banned substances.

The 32-year-old could have been suspended for up to two years but will be eligible to compete again on Friday after he voluntarily stood down last year when he was first told about the positive sample.

The BWF said Lee had been negligent but the backdated sanction was "correct and fair".

"The panel is convinced this is not a case of doping with intent to cheat," the world governing body said in a statement.

The anti-inflammatory drug, which is prohibited in competition, was found on the casing of gelatin capsules of a food supplement that Lee was taking, the BWF said.

"I am of course relieved," Lee said in a news conference in Kuala Lumpur.

"I accept the result. I will review back, and maybe...will be stronger mentally for the competitions to come."

Lee, the winner of 55 titles around the world, had his case heard by a three-member panel in Amsterdam on April 11 and faced the prospect of a career-ending ban.

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